SEO for CEOs
SEO for CEOs

Digital Toolkit

SEO for CEOs

When You Need Help With SEO And Not Think You Can Do It In-house

Here’s a simple maxim by which to know when you should get professional help with SEO – you always need professional help.


Not only when you need help with SEO. Don’t assume you can do it in-house, unless you are completely savvy about SEO. Which we, as CEOs, are likely not.

As CEOs, we’re always measuring everything by time and opportunity. In what should you invest, how long before payback, what the ROI, where to invest… the list may be finite but so is time.

So let’s talk SEO. It’s become clear that SEO is the next old, new thing. Advertising is getting more expensive and you need Google to find you organically.

Ergo, you need SEO. Who’s going to bell the cat?

To being with, think of SEO like you think of investing in the stock market. What are your options here?

  • Option #1, become a day trader. Camp out in the conference room with your CFO so you both can play stock market video games all day.
  • But door number 2 has the best option, hire a professional trading company.

The reason I write this piece is because I am just through trying to talk one of my CEO pals out of hiring an SEO guy – which is option #2, do it yourself. He asked me to sit in on the interview. I talked to the candidate. I did not expect him to be a thrilling, insight-a-minute badass but I did not think he would be as ill-informed and dull as he turned out either.

What disappointed me the most about this guy was that he had not kept up with SEO trends, read no blogs on the subject, he was a total dud.  I submit that given a lot more self-motivation and a lot less Bollywood and masala he could be a smart guy, but there clearly he wasn’t putting the “self” in the motivation.

Let’s cut to the item number. Hire an expert or a professional services company. There are several compelling reasons to hand over your SEO to a pro:

  • Knowledge (not information)
  • Perspective (professionals know other professionals and visit trade shows)
  • No hiring costs
  • Updated SEO management
  • No employee attrition

And now that you, hopefully, have decided to outsource SEO to an expert company, here are a few important things you should consider, before you SEO.

#1 Cost

What’s cheaper? A pro consultant or an in house team?

First, SEO is not some cheap, quick fix. If you are a small to medium sized company, you will splash out somewhere like $3000 a month on SEO. (If you are a very small business, ask your nephew.)

On the flip side, what would it cost to do SEO in-house? How many man-hours would it take for an in house team members to take on SEO-related tasks? What about the learning curve? According to Glassdoor, hiring an SEO Manager with a few years experience is somewhere around $5,000 a month in the U.S. Consider a similar, or slightly cheaper number in Dubai. In India, that number can be anywhere between $1500 and $3500 a month. Anything less than that and you are hiring a junior SEO team member who should be told what to do every day – the sort of dude who interviewed with my pal for a top SEO job.

Score: SEO pro – 1. In house SEO – 0.

#2: Strategy

What’s your marketing strategy and goals for SEO? How mature is your present SEO program effort? If you don’t have one, you’re starting from scratch. If you have something going but you don’t see results, are you looking to invest more? Or are you lost? Or, are you seeing some modest results but don’t know how to scale up?

#3. Your Brand

Here’s where an in-house SEO team will score over an external  team – understanding your marketing message. An external professional is necessarily who is not so familiar with your business goals will become responsible for keyword strategy. And if you outsource more comprehensive SEO services, that person will also be tasked with creating customer focused, search friendly SEO content that appropriately represents your brand.

When you outsource SEO, you have to be absolutely sure that the person or service you employ is intimately familiar with your brand. And they must totally understand your strategic goals.

No one will ever know your business better than you so if you outsource your SEO, make sure you spend some lunch money on imbuing your consultant with the DNA of your brand.

If your industry is broad-based, it will be more easily understood universally. Niche industries need a great deal more attention.

SEO is not complex if you keep your thinking simple and logical. Simply think about your needs and your goals, understand your budget well and spend it well. And you always need help with SEO and not think you can do it in-house.

In other words, hire a consultant.

Great reading here. Stay patient, stay prosperous.

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